Stephen Wolfram visits RWRI 18 (Summer Workshop) [PRIVATE]

Workshop organized by the Real World Risk Institute. The workshop is an intense 10-day online program, and the 18th edition took place from July 10-21, 2023.

This video discusses the capabilities and limitations of large language models like GPT, the challenges of setting constraints on AI systems, and the potential risks and consequences of AI decision-making. The video talks about:

  1. The concept of a “stochastic parrot” in language processing and machine learning.
  2. How language processing systems like GPT use data from the web to generate responses.
  3. Attempts to “trick” GPT with questions requiring nuanced understanding.
  4. The simple operation of GPT in predicting the next word in a sequence.
  5. The use of language models as a new interface to computers.
  6. The integration of GPT with Wolfram Alpha for computations and informed responses.
  7. The similarity between writing good prompts for GPT and expository writing.
  8. The training data for GPT, includes nonsense, fiction, and factual information.
  9. The problem of the “self-licking lollipop” in information sources.
  10. The concept of “necessarily human work” requires human choice and input.
  11. The potential for AI to make decisions and the challenges of setting constraints.
  12. A thought experiment called “promptocracy” for AI decision-making.
  13. The actuation layer of AI and the difficulty of setting constraints.
  14. The phenomenon of computational irreducibility and trade-offs in AI computation.
  15. The potential risks of AI decision-making and the need for understanding large language models.

Nassim on CNBC Squawk Box: Crypto is a cult coupled with a financial instrument

As a scientific advisor for Universa Investments and author of ‘The Black Swan’, Nassim Taleb recently appeared on ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss the current state of the markets and economy. During the interview, he expressed his concerns about a potential bubble looming in the near future. Additionally, he shared his thoughts on the impact of cryptocurrency on the economy. Overall, Taleb provided valuable insights into the current economic landscape and potential risks that investors should be aware of.

Full Interview Link: Available to CNBC Pro Subscribers – Watch CNBC’s full interview with ‘The Black Swan’ author Nassim Taleb

Bloomberg: Nassim Taleb on Inflation, Global Financial Markets & Bitcoin Isn’t Good for Money Laundering

In this discussion, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a renowned scholar and risk analyst, was interviewed by Tom Keene at the Bloomberg Invest New York 2023 event. Taleb discussed a variety of pressing financial matters, including Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, central bank interest rates, and the future of finance.

Taleb argued that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are inefficient for transactions, are losing their appeal to illegal actors, and are vulnerable to be replaced by federal digital currencies. He also warned about the dangerous complacency and misunderstanding of risk in the financial world, citing the unexpected collapse of Swiss banks and the rapid rise in inflation that caught central banks off guard. He argued that central banks should gradually adjust interest rates and should not be seen as the ultimate solution to economic problems. Finally, Taleb discussed the future of finance, predicting higher and more stable interest rates that are more in line with historical norms, and emphasizing the importance of caution in the face of unpredictable market events.

[YouTube] MINI LECTURE 15 – Conditional vs. unconditional correlation: twin studies overestimate heredity

The genetics of twin studies have a bias showing more heredity than in reality, owing to a statistical artifact. The twin studies for heredity are based on comparing the correlation between 2 identical twins minus that between 2 fraternal ones (assumed to be sharing half their genes). The use of fraternal twins as control is assumed to extract the “environmental” factors. Problem: Correlation is conditional and psychologists think it is unconditional. We show how the math is entirely different. The core error is that genes and environment are not separable and additive.

[YouTube] Black Swan Author Taleb on Markets, Interest Rates, Bubbles, Investing

Universa Investments Senior Scientific Advisor Nassim Taleb says the stock market is way too overvalued given current interest rates, and the road back to normal will be “very painful for some.” Taleb spoke exclusively to Bloomberg’s Sonali Basak at an investor day in Miami on Thursday. Earlier, Universa Investments told clients that ballooning debts across the global economy are poised to wreak havoc on markets rivaling the Great Depression.

A case study in Non-replicability of a Medical paper [YouTube]

A case study in non-replicability of a medical paper. I discuss it with Dr. Fouad Fayad from U.S.J. in Lebanon. Details are in Retraction Watch.

Apparently, the only reply to his case by the study’s lead author is of the fact-free data-free sort “he doesn’t like me” which does not appear to have a statistical explanation.

Note: Retraction Watch did a great job presenting facts, and the attempt to retaliate against Dr. Fayad. Note that the 4 expert reports were not attached. Also, note that the paper violated FDA rules (and those of the corresponding European agency).

[YouTube] Why Correlation is Unreliable

At the 2022 Greenwich Economic Forum-Miami, Black Swan author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why correlation is unreliable as a due diligence tool. Coming as it does during an ongoing pandemic and in the middle of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Taleb also discusses Wars and Pandemics and puts them into their proper risk buckets.